Sailors assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) completed a daylong series of community outreach projects at the Guam Veterans Cemetery, Jose L.G. Rios Middle School and a beach clean up along Marine Corps Drive, Oct. 19.
“The USS Frank Cable has an ongoing relationship between the ship and the government of Piti,” said ship’s chaplain, Lt. Matthew Prince.
“The previous chaplains and ships’ crew members have done many service projects here in Piti. Through that previous relationship, the mayor of Piti asked if it would be possible for the Sailors of the Frank Cable to come out and provide this service,” said Prince.
Piti’s mayor, Vicente D. Gumataotao served in the U.S. Navy for 28 years and retired as a master chief steward. His words of advice to Sailors before getting to work were, “Don’t work too hard, be safe and just enjoy one another.”
Originally there were two projects scheduled, with the Religious Ministry Department asking for 30 volunteers to help with cleaning up the beach along Marine Corps Drive, and cleaning and painting at Jose Rios. The response was so positive with 47 Sailors who volunteered their time, that a third project of cleaning and painting at Guam Veterans Cemetery was added.
Work in the Guam Veterans Cemetery included pressure washing and painting some of the large standing tombs, which are a dominate feature at the cemetery.
At Jose Rios, Sailors also spent time removing paint from the walls, as well as general cleanup around the exterior of the school. During the student’s recess, Sailors got to interact with some of the children which turned into an impromptu volley ball game.
“I like to work with kids” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Sierra Pena who was a Head Start teacher before joining the Navy. “The kids make it fun.”
The most grueling task for Sailors was the beach clean up. It involved hacking through the dense Guam jungle from the seaward side of Marine Corps Drive to the ocean, less then 20 feet away.
With the use of machetes, shovels, weed cutters and chain saws, Frank Cable Sailors were able to clear away the overgrowth and create an unobstructed view of the beach from the roadway.
“I thought I would be picking up little trash and walking along a nice pristine beach but I just love this kind of thing and it means a lot to me to be able to help out the community,” said Navy Diver 1st Class Todd Fehnrich.
Frank Cable’s primary mission is to perform maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
Naval Today Staff, October 24, 2012; Image: US Navy